European Drug Report 2023: Trends and Developments
The European Drug Report 2023: Trends and Developments presents the EMCDDA’s latest analysis of the drug situation in Europe. Focusing on illicit drug use, related harms and drug supply, the report contains a comprehensive set of national data across these themes and key harm reduction interventions.
This report is based on information provided to the EMCDDA by the EU Member States, the candidate country Türkiye, and Norway, in an annual reporting process.
The purpose of the current report is to provide an overview and summary of the European drug situation up to the end of 2022. All grouping, aggregates and labels therefore reflect the situation based on the available data in 2022 in respect to the composition of the European Union and the countries participating in EMCDDA reporting exercises. However, not all data will cover the full period. Due to the time needed to compile and submit data, many of the annual national data sets included here are from the reference year January to December 2021. Analysis of trends is based only on those countries providing sufficient data to describe changes over the period specified. The reader should also be aware that monitoring patterns and trends in a hidden and stigmatised behaviour like drug use is both practically and methodologically challenging. For this reason, multiple sources of data are used for the purposes of analysis in this report. Although considerable improvements can be noted, both nationally and in respect to what is possible to achieve in a European level analysis, the methodological difficulties in this area must be acknowledged. Caution is therefore required in interpretation, in particular when countries are compared on any single measure. Caveats relating to the data are to be found in the online Statistical Bulletin, which contains detailed information on methodology, qualifications on analysis and comments on the limitations in the information set available. Information is also available there on the methods and data used for European level estimates, where interpolation may be used.
The drug situation in Europe up to 2023
This page draws on the latest data available to provide an overview of the current situation and emerging drug issues affecting Europe, with a focus on the year up to the end of 2022. The analysis presented here highlights some developments that may have important implications for drug policy and practitioners in Europe.
The drug situation in Europe up to 2023
Drug supply, production and precursors
An analysis of the supply-related indicators available on the commonly used illicit drugs in the European Union suggests that availability remains high across all substance types. On this page, you can find an overview of drug supply in Europe based on the latest data, supported by the latest time trends in drug seizures and drug law offences, together with 2021 data on drug production and precursor seizures.
Drug supply, production and precursors – the current situation in Europe
Cannabis remains by far the most commonly consumed illicit drug in Europe. On this page, you can find the latest analysis of the drug situation for cannabis in Europe, including prevalence of use, treatment demand, seizures, price and purity, harms and more.
Cannabis – the current situation in Europe
Cocaine is, after cannabis, the second most commonly used illicit drug in Europe, although prevalence levels and patterns of use differ considerably between countries. On this page, you can find the latest analysis of the drug situation for cocaine in Europe, including prevalence of use, treatment demand, seizures, price and purity, harms and more.
Cocaine – the current situation in Europe
Amphetamine, methamphetamine and, more recently, synthetic cathinones are all synthetic central nervous system stimulants available on the drug market in Europe. On this page, you can find the latest analysis of the drug situation for synthetic stimulants in Europe, including prevalence of use, treatment demand, seizures, price and purity, harms and more
Synthetic stimulants – the current situation in Europe
MDMA is a synthetic drug chemically related to the amphetamines, but with somewhat different effects. In Europe, MDMA use has generally been associated with episodic patterns of consumption in the context of nightlife and entertainment settings. On this page, you can find the latest analysis of the drug situation for MDMA in Europe, including prevalence of use, seizures, price and purity and more.
MDMA – the current situation in Europe
Heroin and other opioids
Heroin remains Europe’s most commonly used illicit opioid and is also the drug responsible for a large share of the health burden attributed to illicit drug consumption. Europe’s opioid problem, however, has evolved over the last decade in ways that have important implications for how we respond to problems in this area. On this page, you can find the latest analysis of the drug situation for heroin and other opioids in Europe, including prevalence of use, treatment demand, seizures, price and purity, harms and more.
Heroin and other opioids – the current situation in Europe
New psychoactive substances
The market for new psychoactive substances is characterised by the large number of substances that have appeared in this area and that new compounds continue to be detected each year. On this page, you can find an overview of the drug situation for new psychoactive substances in Europe, supported by seizure data and information from the EU Early Warning System on substances detected for the first time in Europe. New substances mentioned include synthetic cannabinoids, hexahydrocannabinol, synthetic cathinones, new synthetic opioids, benzimidazole opioids.
New psychoactive substances – the current situation in Europe
Alongside the more well-known substances available on illicit drugs markets, a number of other substances with hallucinogenic, anaesthetic, dissociative or depressant properties are used in Europe: these include LSD, hallucinogenic mushrooms, ketamine, GHB and nitrous oxide. On this page, you can find the latest analysis of the situation regarding these substances in Europe, including seizures, prevalence and patterns of use, treatment entry, harms and more.
Other drugs – the current situation in Europe
Injecting drug use
Despite a continued decline in injecting drug use over the past decade in Europe, this behaviour is still responsible for a disproportionate level of health harms. On this page, you can find the latest analysis of injecting drug use in Europe, including key data on prevalence at national level and among clients entering specialised treatment, as well as insights from studies on syringe residue analysis and more.
Injecting drug use – the current situation in Europe
Drug-related infectious diseases
People who inject drugs are at risk of contracting infections through the sharing of drug use paraphernalia. On this page, you can find the latest analysis of drug-related infectious diseases in Europe, including key data on infections with HIV and hepatitis B and C viruses.
Drug-related infectious diseases – the current situation in Europe
Drug-induced deaths are those that are directly attributable to the use of drugs. On this page, you can find the latest analysis of drug-induced deaths in Europe, including key data on overdose deaths, substances implicated and more.
Drug-induced deaths – the current situation in Europe
Opioid agonist treatment
Opioid users represent the largest group undergoing specialised drug treatment, mainly in the form of opioid agonist treatment. On this page, you can find the latest analysis of the provision of opioid agonist treatment in Europe, including key data on coverage, the number of people in treatment, pathways to treatment and more.
Opioid agonist treatment – the current situation in Europe
Harm reduction encompasses interventions, programmes and policies that seek to reduce the health, social and economic harms of drug use to individuals, communities and societies. On this page, you can find the latest analysis of harm reduction interventions in Europe, including key data on opioid agonist treatment, naloxone programmes, drug consumption rooms and more.
Harm reduction – the current situation in Europe
A selection of data visualisations from the report can be found below.
These tables, produced specifically for the European Drug Report, provide national data for estimates of drug use prevalence including problem opioid use, substitution treatment, total number in treatment, treatment entry, injecting drug use, drug-induced deaths, drug-related infectious diseases, syringe distribution and seizures. The data are drawn from and are a subset of the EMCDDA Statistical Bulletin 2022, where notes and meta-data are available. The years to which data refer are indicated. In addition, for some indicators, these data tables also provide total values for EU as well as for EMCDDA reporting countries, 'EU+2' (EU Member States, Türkiye and Norway).
Source data for graphics
All source data used in the report for data visualisations may be accessed using the links below.
The EMCDDA would like to thank the following for their help in producing this report:
- the heads of the Reitox national focal points and their staff;
- the Early Warning System correspondents of the Reitox national focal points and experts from their national early warning system network;
- the services and experts within each Member State that collected the raw data for this report;
- the members of the Management Board and the Scientific Committee of the EMCDDA;
- the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union — in particular its Horizontal Working Party on Drugs — and the European Commission;
- the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and Europol;
- the Pompidou Group of the Council of Europe, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the WHO Regional Office for Europe, Interpol, the World Customs Organisation (WCO), the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD), the Sewage Analysis Core Group Europe (SCORE), the European Drug Emergencies Network (Euro-DEN Plus), the European Syringe Collection and Analysis Project Enterprise (ESCAPE) network, the European Network of Drug Consumption Rooms (ENDCR) and the Trans-European Drug Information network (TEDI).
Reitox is the European information network on drugs and drug addiction. The network is comprised of national focal points in the EU Member States, the candidate country Türkiye, Norway and at the European Commission. Under the responsibility of their governments, the focal points are the national authorities providing drug information to the EMCDDA.
About this page
Recommended citation: European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (2023), European Drug Report 2023: Trends and Developments, https://www.emcdda.europa.eu/publications/european-drug-report/2023_en